Single currency crisis averted

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The Independent Online
An immediate crisis over the European single currency looks likely to be averted following a visit to Paris yesterday by the EU Commission President, Jacques Santer, writes John Lichfield.

The French Prime Minister, Lionel Jospin, said "progress" had been made in answering his government's demand for a greater EU emphasis on common policies to promote growth and jobs. In a 50-minute meeting with Mr Jospin, Mr Santer discussed the draft text of a resolution on common economic policy-making which will be put to EU heads of government at their summit in Amsterdam next Monday and Tuesday. After the meeting, Mr Santer said he believed that "all the elements are now on the table" to allow the new French government to sign a pact committing countries which join the single currency in 1999 to strict budgetary discipline.